The Gospel According to Jesus, Part III
How shall you escape the sentence of hell? Matthew 23 : 33 NASB.
Imagine driving down the highway at 85 mph feeling good about yourself without a care in the world, then suddenly you top a hill and see a speed limit sign saying 70. You have just been convicted by the law that you are a law- breaker. Looking in your rear view mirror you notice red flashing lights speeding toward you. BUSTED!
The policeman gives you a speeding ticket to confirm that you have broken the law and you have no excuse because the sign plainly stated 70 mph. Most people believe that they are good moral upstanding citizens and willingly obey the laws of man, but what about the law of God? Mankind is guilty at birth because of what Adam did in the garden by breaking the law of God.
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned. Romans 5 : 12
We are born with a death sentence on us before we ever get a chance to sin on our own. That's why no one is good enough to obtain eternal life on their own merit. Doing good deeds, going to church, being baptized, taking communion or just trying to be good won't save you from the sentence of eternal damnation. Then what your saying leaves us hopeless, yes without a doubt, no hope and no escape, except by the grace of God.
Salvation is black and white in that it is a free gift from God, you cannot earn it, it is freely given by faith through grace. Our sins, though inherited, are sending us to hell and everyone is guilty and worthy of the punishment of eternal death. Jesus died and shed His blood to wash away everyone's sin and gave them the gift of eternal life, that's the good news of the gospel, your sins are forgiven. Because of your free will, given you by God, you have to choose to receive the gift of eternal life by faith.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name. John 1 : 12
If Adolph Hitler, after killing six million of God's chosen people had cried out for mercy and repented of his sins, God would have forgiven him and given him eternal life. That's not fair you say, no it's not in the eyes of man, but through the eyes of God it is a free gift given to all who repent and believe the gospel. We think because we are better than someone else that we are somehow worthy of God's favor, but in reality we deserve judgment because we are all sinners.
Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification [ pardoned ] of life.
For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous. Romans 5 : 18,19
That pretty well does away with anyone thinking that he's worthy of God's favor, but it does give us the truth that is able to set us free from eternal judgment. The sad thing is that the message of life is somehow to simple for many who refuse God's free gift and choose to try another way in on their own. So, where does that leave you? Will you hold out to the end believing that your good enough, clutching your bag of human accolades and dead works or will you trust in the blood of Jesus to save you from the sentence of hell?
I trust that this message stirred your heart, as it should, the gospel was given to show mankind that he is lost and going to hell without mercy if he chooses his own way. Next week: Part IV, THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS...